Sohag Criminal Court has today handed Abdullah Hosni, 30, a death sentence for premeditated murder of the Copt Kyrillos Nagah Megally, and for possession of a cold weapon. Last December, Sohag Criminal Court had referred Mr Hosni’s file to the Mufti for Islamic legal opinion on sentencing him to death; in Egypt, a death sentence cannot become final until it is approved by the Mufti, the official in charge of issuing Islamic legal opinions (fatwas).
In June 2022, Sohag prosecution had referred Mr Hosni to the criminal court on charges of intentional premeditated murder of Mr Megally.
The prosecution had investigated the murder of the 30-year-old Copt Kyrillos Megally at the hands of the Muslim extremist Abdullah Hosni in the village of Arab Mahdy in Akhmim, Sohag, some 500km south of Cairo. Mr Megally had died in hospital on 7 June on account of the numerous injuries he suffered during the attack three days earlier.
Sameh Nazeer, lawyer for the Megally family, told ++Watani++ that the prosecution had listened to the testimony of eyewitnesses to the crime which Mr Hosni confessed to committing, and that the official forensic after-death report testified that Mr Megally’s death was the result of several blows on the head, and that the blood on the defendant’s clothes was the same as that of the victim. The report also said that cuts in the tendons of the victim’s hands indicated involvement in extreme violence.
Mr Nazeer also said that Mr Hosni’s family had alleged that he was mentally unbalanced, and submitted to the prosecution a medical report issued by a private psychiatric centre to that effect. The prosecution rejected the report and said the court would look into the allegations. The court later placed Mr Hosni under observation in the public Abassiya Mental Hospital which declared him responsible for his deeds.
Kyrillos Megally had been attacked by Mr Hosni, a Muslim who has a reputation for being an extremist belonging to an extremist family from the village of Arab Mahdy. Mr Hosni obstructed Megally’s way as the latter rode a motorcycle, pushed him off, then attacked him with a cleaver, hitting him repeatedly in several parts in his body. The bleeding Megally was quickly moved to hospital where it was found that he sustained serious injuries including fractures in the skull, brain haemorrhage and serious cuts in the tendons of his hand. He died three days later, on 7 June.
Mr Hosni confessed his crime and admitted to getting rid of the cleaver he had used to hit Mr Megally down a drain water canal.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Interior declared the defendant had a criminal record.
Allegations of mental derangement was used years ago by culprits who committed crimes against Copts, as a method to get away with their crimes. In recent years, however, such allegations are refuted through medical examination and observation at a public mental hospital, as ordered by the court.
9 January 2023
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